Dera chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh walks out of jail; 2nd parole in 3 months
The latest parole to the Dera chief, comes three months after he was granted a similar parole. “The parole has been granted for 40 days. It has been granted as per rules," Rohtak's Divisional Commissioner Sanjeev Verma had said.
Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, the leader of Dera Sacha Sauda, left the Sunaria prison in Rohtak, Haryana, on Saturday after being given a 40-day release. Singh was released from prison in the afternoon, according to a Rohtak police official.
Another official confirmed that he will be visiting the Dera Sacha Sauda Ashram in Barnawa, Uttar Pradesh. The latest parole to the dera chief, who is serving a 20-year jail term for raping two of his disciples, comes three months after he was granted another 40-day parole.
“The parole has been granted for 40 days. It has been granted in accordance with rules," Rohtak’s Divisional Commissioner Sanjeev Verma had said on Friday.
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Saturday reacted to the second parole in months granted to Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh who has been serving a 20-year jail term for raping his two disciples.
"I was not aware that Gurmeet Ram Rahim got parole but if he has, then it must be after following all the procedures and that is his right. I will not interfere in that," the CM said.
On November 25, Singh's previous parole period came to an end. The dera chief was released from jail on October 14 and immediately went to his Barnawa ashram while on parole. Ranjit Singh Chautala, the minister in charge of Haryana's prisons, had previously claimed that Singh had submitted a request for a 40-day parole, which had been sent to the divisional commissioner of Rohtak.
On January 25, reports claim Singh is also expected to attend a celebration honouring former dera leader Shah Satnam Singh's birth anniversary.
The 55-year-old Sirsa dera leader performed multiple online "satsang" sessions at the Barnawa ashram during his prior parole period in October and November. Leaders from the Haryana chapter of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) attended some of these sessions.
The cult leader was released from prison in June on a month-long parole, which was followed by his release in October. In addition, he received a three-week leave of absence beginning on February 7, 2022, only two weeks before the Punjab Assembly elections.
The dera leader was also found guilty in 2021 of conspiring to murder Ranjit Singh, a manager at the dera, along with four other people. For the murder of a journalist more than 16 years ago, the dera head and three other individuals were found guilty in 2019.